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My initial app flow was as follows:

Welcome screen > Login > Home Menu (5 options)

However I've noticed that most apps direct users directly to a menu section, keeping the menu behind a hamburger. I've since reworked the flow to lead directly into a dashboard page. I think this is the right design decision for an app that depends on users keeping their info up to date, but I'm wondering: there is ever a case for forcing users through a home menu selection?

For instance, if you don't know which section users will default to initially, it seems like would be easier to remove a top level screen than to add one.

  • Maybe if the app was not content-focused? If the idea was that you're usage consisted of entering different kinds of data via a few Wizards but that data went to someone else for review, you might want to have quick links for those, I think. – John Jan 10 '17 at 19:39
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I'm making an overly broad statement here, but no, you should avoid using a home menu as your main screen.

Here's how I think about it. People are using your app for a reason. They're there to accomplish a goal.

  • Welcome screen: This isn't why people are here.
  • Login: a necessary step (the first time time in), but this isn't why people are here.
  • Home Menu: This might get people one more step toward their goal, but this menu isn't why people are here either.

That's three screens that aren't the users' goal. So I always design to load a default page immediately. If you don't know which default screen supports the most users, then user research (observations) will reveal that.

If you're not doing research (that is, if you're not a UX Designer [/snark]), then you can take a marketer's view and decide what you want users to do and default to that page.

Bottom line: reduce the number of screens users go through to get to what they're trying to accomplish.

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I guess the user has to be logged in in order to use your app (lika Facebook).

I'd rather use a bottom navigation with up to five entries where the first one leads the user to the home/startpage of your app. If you need more than five menu entries, let the last one be a "more" function" leading the user to some kind of menu.

This solution also reduces the need of a hamburger menu.

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The rationale behind a homepage is that you display a glimpse of what you have to offer. You don’t know who someone is and if they’re familiar with what you do, or what their goal is when they land on your website for the first time. Apps don’t have this issue. People download it for a reason and thus you can more readily show more relevant options. Like a dashboard with top tasks, or a tab bar. This is why most apps force you to sign in so they can personalize. A homepage is never needed then.

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